By Scott A. Cupp
This is the 169th in my series of Forgotten Books.
Years ago I first encountered the force of nature that is Harry O. Morris in the pages of the long gone and deeply missed fanzine Nyctalops. I received an issue for my birthday and it was filled with more information and visual stimulation than you should legally be allowed to have. The issue I got was devoted to the work of Clark Ashton Smith, though Lovecraft was the fanzine’s primary focus.
Then I saw some of his art at the World Fantasy Convention in Ft. Worth in 1978. It was so wildly different from everything else on exhibit there that, broke person which I was, I ended up buying two photo collages for my personal collection. I know that I still have one of them and maybe the second too.
I later met Harry in person at ArmadilloCon and he was every bit as weird and cool as you could expect. Eventually he married my friend Christine Pasanen and they were a lovely match. I visited them once in Albuquerque and it was great!
Recently, Jerad Walters, the madman behind Centipede Press, published this amazing artbook/biography of Harry. Filled with literally hundreds of photos of artwork from fanzines and book covers. And the introduction from Thomas Ligotti, a writer I first encountered through Harry’s work, is worth the price of admission alone.
I’m not going to talk much about the book. It is extraordinary and out of print from the publisher, though a few copies are still floating around out there in Webland. It’s a little expensive (not really) because it is filled with lots of heavy paper and color pictures. I’m going to post a photo of Harry and some of his work. This does not really begin to give you an idea of its brilliance. He works with pens, ink, colors, collage, photo emulsions and maybe magic.
If you are looking for the perfect present for that weird friend (who may even be yourself), give them this book. Offer a double or nothing deal if they don’t like it. You won’t have to pay up.
Happy Holidays to everyone out there. And remember, if it ain’t weird, you’re not trying hard enough.
Series organizer Patti Abbott hosts more Friday Forgotten Book reviews at her own blog, and posts a complete list of participating blogs.